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Learning from the Early Adopters: the digital practtitioner framework.

Bennett, Elizabeth (2012) Learning from the Early Adopters: the digital practtitioner framework. In: ALT-C 2012 A confrontation with reality, 11-13 September 2012, Manchester, UK. (Unpublished)

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The radical and transformative potential of Web 2.0 tools to impact on learning has been discussed by, amongst others, Downes (2005), Siemens (2004), Davidson and Golberg (2009), Williams et al. (2011), Cormier (2008), Goodyear (2002). Their promise is of participative, emergent learning in which students are producers of knowledge, connected in learning communities. This paper examines how Web 2.0 tools are being used in teaching and learning in a ‘post 1992’ university. The paper is based on the findings of a phenomenological in-depth study which utilised a small sample of lecturers and focused on their personal journeys in relation to making changes in their pedagogic and broader academic and professional practices. The focus is on the experiences of lecturers who are using Web 2.0 tools in their teaching and learning practices, Rogers’ (1983) ‘early adopters’ and ‘innovators’.
Ecclesfield and Rebbeck’s (2011) notion of ‘digital practitioner’ is employed and conceptually extended by considering how lecturers’ skills and practices become routinised as the tools are appropriated. The paper suggests a framework, based on Sharpe and Beetham’s (2010) work on students’ digital literacies, which depicts a hierarchical relationship between lecturers’ access, skills, practices and attributes.
The paper concludes that early adopters have similarities, independent of the subject that they teach, in terms of their beliefs and attributes: they are willing to experiment with change: they are confident in their approach to Technology Enhanced Learning: they understand the radical pedagogical possibilities of the application of Web 2.0 tools: they balance risks associated with adopting new practices with an understanding of their potential: they are willing to invest time in exploring and evaluating Technology Enhanced Learning. The motivation that drives the early adopters to adopt new Technology Enhanced Learning practices is their commitment to enhancing their students’ experience by making the learning more participative and collaborative. They believe that Web 2.0 practices have the potential to support this objective. The implications for lecturers’ development and the implications for learning from the early adopters are also discussed.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Schools: School of Education and Professional Development
School of Education and Professional Development > Centre of Lifelong Learning and Social Justice
School of Education and Professional Development > Centre of Lifelong Learning and Social Justice > Teaching, Public Pedagogies and Professionalism Research Group
School of Education and Professional Development > Centre of Lifelong Learning and Social Justice > Technology Enhanced Learning Research Group
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References: Cope, B., & Kalantzis, M. (2008). Ubiquitous Learning: An Agenda for Educational Transformation. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 6th Networked Learning, Greece. Cormier, D. (2008). Rhizomatic Education: Community as Curriculum. Innovate: Journal of Online Education, 4(5). Crook, C. (2008). Web 2.0 technologies for learning: The current landscape – opportunities, challenges and tensions: Becta. Davidson, C., & Goldberg, T. (2009). The Future of Learning Institutions in a Digital Age. Massachusetts: MIT Press. Downes, S. (2005). E-Learning 2.0. Elearning Magazine Retrieved 24 March 2012, from Downes, S. (2006). Learning Networks and Connective Knowledge. AECT Instructional Technology Forum. Retrieved from Ecclesfield, N., Rebbeck, G., & Garnett, F. (2012). The Case of the Curious and the Confident - The Untold Story Of Changing Teacher Attitudes To E-Learning And "Technology IN Action" In The FE Sector. Compass: The Journal of Learning and Teaching at the University of Greenwich, 5. Goodyear, P., Banks, S., Hodgson, V., & McConnell, D. (2004). Research on network learning:an overview. In P. Goodyear, S. Banks, V. Hodgson & D. McConnell (Eds.), Advances in research on networked learning. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Rogers, E. M. (1983). Diffusion of Innovation (3rd ed.). London: Free Press. Sharpe, R., & Beetham, H. (2010). Understanding students’ uses of technology for learning: towards creative appropriation. In R. Sharpe, H. Beetham & S. de Freitas (Eds.), Rethinking learning for the digital age: how learners shape their experiences (pp. 85 - 99). London and New York: Routledge Falmer. Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: a learning theory for the digital age. elearning space. Retrieved from Weller, M. (2011). The Digital Scholar. London: Bloomsbury Academic. Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Williams, R., Karousou, R., & Mackness, J. (2011). Emergent Learning and Learning Ecologies in Web 2.0. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning 12(3), 1-21.
Depositing User: Liz Bennett
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2012 11:17
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 11:25


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